It's opening night of The Avengers nationwide, and you can bet the teenagers will be lining up outside theaters ready for their fix of the hot new superhero flick. And the younger kids want to be right there with them. The last Halloween in most neighborhoods brought us a sea of little Iron Mans and wee Captain America look-alikes running around town. These are their heroes too.
But is The Avengers really a kids movie? That depends ... on your kid. You know them better than anyone. But we're throwing you a lifeline. We've seen the movie (and loved it), and we know what to watch out for with your kids. Here's a guide to help you decide if you'll be hitting the theaters or staying home this weekend:
Violence: It kind of goes without saying that a movie about superheroes will include fighting, doesn't it? There is a lot of it, and this isn't cartoon violence either. But it's violence with a point. These superheroes are trying to save the world from the bad guys; it's not being done just for kicks.
Death: Most of the bad guys are killed quickly, and the actual death throes happen off-screen. The bigger focus, Moms and Dads, is the one major character who dies onscreen. He's a character kids will connect with in a major way -- I won't tell you more because I don't want to ruin a rather pivotal moment for you -- and his death is quite emotional.
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Cursing: With a PG-13 rating, you know there would be some. But the first third to half of the movie goes by curse-free, and there are no F-bombs to worry about! Most of the cuss words are limited to "da--" and "hell," and it's not gratuitous. The worst it gets is a "sonuvab--ch" and a mention of a particular person being "buck a-- naked" (you don't see that, by the way, and it's not sexual).
Suicide: If your kids are familiar in any way with the story of the Incredible Hulk, they know Dr. Bruce Banner is not happy to turn into a green monster when he gets angry. But a mention that he once tried to shoot himself in the mouth as a means to end the Hulk's reign over his body may be hard to explain to your kids. It's a very quick reference, and your kids may forget all about it, but it's worth being prepared anyway.
So there you have it: what you need to know when your kiddos come storming into the room with their LEGO magazine with The Avengers cover and saying, "I wanna see it!"
What have your kids been saying about the movie? Will you be seeing The Avengers tonight?
Image via Walt Disney/Marvel
Disney covered my expenses to see Marvel's The Avengers at the Tribeca Film Festival.